Morning Action: What Are Conservatives Really Proposing Congress Do to Stop Obamacare?
OBAMACARE. It is typical of the Washington Establishment to mince words. Some of them are trying to convince Americans that conservative lawmakers want to use a shutdown to defund Obamacare.
The mechanism that conservatives are actually suggesting lawmakers use to defund Obamacare is the continuing resolution (CR), not a shutdown per se. Congress can fund everything else in the government while defunding Obamacare using the CR – no shutdown needed. However, if the Left wishes to throw a tantrum and shutdown the government by not accepting the CR, that is their prerogative.
But as Heritage explains, a government shutdown is not the end of the world, either:
What the shutdown fearmongers are talking about is Congress reaching a budget impasse—which could happen for a variety of reasons, including disagreement over Obamacare funding. If Congress doesn’t pass legislation to continue funding the government, then when the previous funding expires, it “shuts down.”
“Shutdown” actually sounds more dire than it is. The government services that shut down are the non-essential ones. As Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said at Heritage’s Bloggers Briefing yesterday, this is what happens…every weekend. Have you ever tried to call the Department of Agriculture on a Saturday?
A “shutdown” would temporarily impair some government activities, but deficit spending, growing debt, and the burden of Obamacare will harm the economy and Americans’ opportunities and income permanently.
AMNESTY. Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform will be investing heavily, spending time and money, to persuade Congress to their side during the August recess:
Fence-sitting House Republicans beware: Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform are coming for you during the August Congressional recess, planning hundreds of events and spending more than a million dollars on ads, all designed to bring you into the fold.
Immigration organizations, evangelical Christian groups, the business community, and big labor are all plotting a month-long push, aimed at turning the tide in the House towards finally reforming the nation’s immigration laws.
It’s unclear that supporters of reform can actually force it into reality: House Republicans are divided on the issue, with many conservatives aggressively pushing against comprehensive reform, insisting it will result in nothing more than de facto amnesty for the 11 million people living in the country illegally. And with the party headed up by an extremely weak leadership team, the notion they can force through a massive reform this year is at best suspect.
We are opposed to comprehensive legislation and to any legislation that leads to a conference committee on the Senate bill, because the result will almost certainly be an amnesty first approach.
GRAND BARGAIN. President Obama is having a difficult time selling his “Grand Bargain” tax plan to the GOP (sub. req’d):
Lawmakers regarded President Barack Obama’s latest attempt to engage them on an economic proposal as largely irrelevant Tuesday, with neither Democrats nor Republicans viewing it as an actual step forward toward breaking their ongoing budget impasse.
Obama delivered an address in Chattanooga, Tenn., outlining a broad framework “for the middle class” that, among other provisions, would include corporate tax changes, infrastructure projects and an increase in the minimum wage. The package, which the White House touted as a “grand bargain,” included a few items the GOP supports in isolation — closing tax loopholes to lower tax rates, for example. The offer was intended to be an olive branch to the GOP, because it didn’t include any tax increases.
But Republicans either shrugged off or slammed the White House proposal, saying it could undercut talks on either a larger budget framework or a comprehensive tax rewrite.
And they don’t think Obama is serious about working with them, anyway.
Heritage explains that the President’s proposal is not a “grand bargain” but a tax increase:
It is on the revenue neutrality requirement that President Obama’s bargain falls apart. Rather than use all the revenue that would come from closing loopholes to lower rates, he’d use some of that resulting revenue to increase spending. As a result, his plan would actually be yet another tax hike first; tax reform would come second. And the tax hike would blunt the positive growth effect that tax reform would create.
So what does he want to spend the higher tax revenue on? Infrastructure, of course! Widening roads, dredging ports, repairing older bridges, and working on the nation’s air traffic control system. How soon he forgets: He tried more spending on these things through the 2009 stimulus plan. Been there, done that—no jobs to show for it.
KEYSTONE. Mr. Obama is busy criticizing job estimate numbers for the Keystone pipeline project, but as Heritage reminds us, he forgets to take a look at his failed green jobs program:
President Obama criticized the job estimate numbers from the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in an interview with The New York Times over the weekend, but if the president wants to complain about job creation, he should really take a look as his failed green jobs programs.
While there has been disagreement over the number of construction and permanent jobs Keystone XL will create, building and operating Keystone XL will result in real private-sector jobs that will grow our economy. This is much different than the President’s taxpayer-funded green jobs plan that merely siphons resources out of the market and forces pricier energy on the American public.
In the interview with the Times, President Obama laughed off the notion that Keystone XL would be a big jobs creator in the interview.